A blend between total onslaught and beautiful melody, Toothgrinder exceeded expectations on their debut release, “Nocturnal Masquerade”. The New Jersey natives had previously released an EP in 2014, titled “Schizophrenic Jubilee”. It was a solid release, yet never something I listened to much. Although three songs from the EP also appear on the full-length album, the musical complexity, concept, and progressive flow make “Nocturnal Masquerade” an essential record for the heavy metal masses. The album begins with “The House (That Fear Built)”. Toothgrinder wastes no time establishing the main facets of their sound including heavy whispered vocals, aggressive screamed vocals, powerful drums, and heavily distorted guitar. Justin Matthew’s spitfire vocals reminds me of Corey Taylor at his most vicious. Although I generally do not endearingly compare bands to Slipknot, Justin manages to maintain enunciation with speed, while still remaining overwhelmingly brutal. These vocals overlaid on the frantic drumming and guitar riffs was also quick to remind me of The Dillinger Escape Plan. A great record that deserves to be heard.
– David Gilmore